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Thailand Advances Multiple Railway Projects

In a recent meeting, Pichet Kunathammarak, Director-General of the Department of Rail Transport, provided updates on several ongoing and upcoming railway projects in Thailand. The committee reviewed the progress of the Phase 1 double-track railway construction and new routes under development. They also discussed the upcoming tender for the Khon Kaen-Nong Khai double-track project, spanning 167 kilometers, set for June 2024. Additionally, proposals for five new double-track routes, covering a total distance of 1,123 kilometers, were prepared for the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) Board’s consideration.

Pichet further elaborated on the developments regarding the Southern double-track railway from Nakhon Pathom to Chumphon. Currently, the section from Ban Kubua to Saphli station, covering 348 kilometers, is operational. An additional 72 kilometers will open on June 4, 2024, including segments from Nakhon Pathom station to Ban Kubua and from Saphli to Chumphon. The final kilometer of the Nakhon Pathom station yard is expected to be operational by August 12, 2024. The signal system installation for this section is 59.762% complete, with full completion anticipated by May 2025.

The meeting also emphasized the urgency of completing the Northeastern double-track railway from Map Kabao to Khlong Khanan Chit, which is 97% complete. Pending expropriation costs for sections in Muak Lek are awaiting Cabinet approval. The first phase of this route, including 13 kilometers from Map Kabao to Muak Lek New Station and 30 kilometers from Bandai Ma to Khlong Khanan Chit, is expected to open in July 2024.

Construction of the Lam Takhong Tunnel (Tunnel No. 3) is also underway, with an additional 237 meters to connect to the existing railway. This project is expected to be completed by the end of 2024. The committee urged the SRT to expedite the double-track project from Lopburi to Pak Nam Pho, particularly the first contract from Ban Klap to Khok Krathiam, which is over 92% complete. The new Lopburi station is anticipated to be operational by the end of 2024, necessitating coordination with secondary public transportation systems for seamless connectivity.

Regarding Phase 1 double-track construction, Pichet noted significant progress in civil works, with signal system installations underway. The Ministry of Transport prioritizes these projects to reduce travel times, enhance safety, and increase transportation efficiency. These advancements aim to boost passenger and cargo capacity, lower logistics costs, and enhance Thailand’s competitive edge.

It was reported that numerous officials and stakeholders attended the meeting, emphasizing the government’s commitment to advancing the country’s railway infrastructure.

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